“Glenn Kefford has dragged scholarship about party campaigning into the modern day, with a study that for the first time properly integrates the campaign elements of data, digital and field work.”
–Stephen Mills, University of Sydney, Australia
“This compellingly written, ground-breaking book is underpinned by a treasure trove of original analyses: from participant observation in fieldwork campaigns, extensive interviews with party insiders, to public opinion data.”
–Ariadne Vromen, Australian National University, Australia
“Kefford offers the most extensive analysis of contemporary campaigning to date in the field.... This is a fascinating and nuanced account of how data is powering digital and field campaigning, and how its effects might be less directly on voters and more on parties as organizations.”
, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA
“Presenting unparalleled insight into the activities of Australian parties, Glenn Kefford dives beneath the hype and sensationalised reporting of political campaigns to offer a detailed, and vitally important discussion of how parties actually work… this book makes an important contribution to debates on political parties that will resonate far beyond Australia's shores.”
–Katharine Dommett, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom
Big data and microtargeting steal the headlines about campaigning. But how important are they really to the way that political parties campaign? This book provides a fine-grained account of the campaign practices of three Australian political parties. It explores how prevalent data-driven campaigning is, introduces an original theoretical framework to understand these practices, and demonstrates that there is a disconnect between what Australian voters think about these issues and the way that parties campaign in the 21stcentury. Drawing on 161 interviews, participant observation and original survey data, it shows that the reality of contemporary campaigning is often different to what we are led to believe.
Glenn Kefford is a lecturer in political science at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. He is an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award Fellow for 2019-2021.